Eggs and prizes await at annual Clinton Hunt

Thousands of candy-filled eggs and prizes await kids up to age 12 at the annual Clinton Easter Egg Hunt at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 30 at Dan Porter Park, next to the library.

Thousands of candy-filled eggs and prizes await kids up to age 12 at the annual Clinton Easter Egg Hunt at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 30 at Dan Porter Park, next to the library.

Last year’s sunny Saturday hunt brought out a record crowd of kids and parents to the little park on Deer Lake Road. Organizers caution parents to get their children there early, because once the fire horn sounds at exactly 11 a.m. the hunting begins.

“If you’re even five minutes late, the hunt will be over,” said Kenzie Furman, hunt organizer.

There will be no parking available inside the park because three fire engines will be in the parking lot for kids to explore and have a chance to meet local firefighters. Port Commissioner Curt Gordon will emcee the event.

The Easter Bunny will also be on hand to welcome families.

Sherren Anderson portrays the Easter Bunny for her second consecutive year.

“I love the kids,” said Anderson of her willingness to don a bunny suit once a year. “I love to see their reactions when they see me.”

The park will be sectioned off by age group so all hunters will have a good chance of finding the 5,000 plastic eggs filled with candy and gift certificates from local businesses.

Finders of the golden and silver eggs will each win giant Easter baskets filled with goodies from The Goose Grocery.

Toddlers up to age two will have easy hunting in the playground area. Three- and 4-year-olds have a big grassy area for egg hunting, while kids five and six will have another field of their own.

Bigger kids, ages 7-9 and 10-12, will take to different sections of the woods for more challenging egg hunting.

Getting ready for this big annual event is definitely a family affair for first-time chairwoman Kenzie Furman, whose extended family spans four generations of Whidbey Islanders.

“I’m making my family help,” she said with a smile. Her two children and their cousins will be among the eager egg-hunters Saturday.

On Sunday, March 24, Furman’s family members and a few friends gathered at the park for a thorough pre-event cleanup. The Neelys, Allens, Andersons and Hornshaws were all represented, with volunteers ranging in age from 11 months to 80.

Furman’s grandma Jody Neely was the oldest volunteer, while Neely’s great-granddaughter Quinn was the youngest.

Chase Hunnicutt and Anthony Turnbull-Agnew, both 12, rode their bikes into the park and were quickly put to work, too.

In all, volunteers gathered about 10 big bags of trash from the little park to make it safe for young egg hunters next Saturday.

Candy Anderson, who helped on Sunday, said, “It’s a yearly ritual for me, since my mom Nancy Brown was the one who started the event about 25 years ago.”

Anderson is the manager of the Clinton branch of Whidbey Island Bank, one of the community donors to the event.

Other Clinton business donors of cash and prizes include the Clinton Chamber of Commerce, South Whidbey Eagles, Neil’s Clover Patch Café, Southern Cross Espresso, Pickles Deli, Dairy Queen, Cozy’s Roadhouse and Critters & Co. Pet Center.

Community members can donate money any time of year to the Clinton Easter Egg Hunt fund at Whidbey Island Bank.

As a fundraiser for next year’s festivities, hot dogs, chips and sodas will be sold at this year’s search.

Organizers are all fervently hoping for a nice day for the popular community event, with one exception.

“I roasted in that bunny suit last year when it was such a nice day,” said Easter Bunny Sherren Anderson. “But it’s all about making the kids happy.”